Great Expectations

My name is Mark Smith. I'm a guy who loves Jesus, His Word, and His Church. I am filled with Great Expectations for what the future will ultimately bring - Matthew 24:14.

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Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

My favourite verse is Psalm 16:11, my other favourite verse is Acts 20:24, my other favourite verse is Habakkuk 3:17-19, and my other favourite verse is Matthew 24:14.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Tim Keller

I heard Tim Keller speak at the Desiring God National Conference a couple years ago and it was a great message. So I'm excited to get his book, The Reason For God, in the mail soon. I've also been excited to listen to a couple of his talks given at Universities as part of the release of his book. One I listened to a couple of Saturdays ago was very interesting and good - I especially liked his comments about the so-called "Problem of Evil".

Keller basically said that no serious philosophers use the "Problem of Evil" to try to disprove God's existence anymore. The reason for this is that Alvin Plantinga has given an answer to the problem that no other philosopher can refute. Here is how it goes.

The argument:

If God is all powerful and all good, why is there so much meaningless suffering in the world?

The fact that there is so much meaningless suffering in the world proves that there is no God. (Doesn't it?)

The answer:

Just because we cannot see a good reason for there being so much suffering in the world does not mean that there is no good reason for it. God is smarter than us and He may have a reason for suffering that we cannot see since we are not God. There you go. Problem solved. :)

He gives a story to go along with it that goes like this:

Suppose I had a tent and asked someone to come and look inside it to tell me if there are any dogs in it. If someone looks inside the tent and saw that there was no dogs, we could pretty much be sure that there are no dogs in the tent. But what if I asked the same person to look inside the tent to tell me if there are any no-see-ums (those nasty little bugs that are so small you can't see them) in the tent. If someone looks in the tent and says that there are no no-see-ums in the tent, can we all be sure that there are no no-see-ums in the tent? Of course not. Even if there were, we cannot see them. Similarly, just because we look at suffering in general, or one particular case of suffering, and cannot see any reason for God allowing it, it does not mean that there are no good reasons for it. God can see no-see-ums, and God can see reasons for allowing what He allows.

Of course, that takes care of the philosophical problem. The emotional problem is deeper in many ways - but God answers that too. See this article.


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